Monday, November 13, 2006


Once upon a time there was an elderly couple who had been married for many years but had no children. Even though they were very old they still longed for a child.

One day there was a knock at the door. The husband opened the door but found nobody there. Instead, he found a plant in a pot. He brought the plant into the kitchen to show his wife. He put it on the table where, to their amazement, the flower began to open. Inside was a tiny little girl. She was so small that she was no bigger than the old man’s thumb!

At last the elderly couple had a child! They named the little girl Thumbelina.

There are many stories about Thumbelina, but the one I like most has been made into a song. It talks about an occasion when Thumbelina was feeling very sorry for herself. She was so tiny. She wanted to be as tall as everyone else around her. She wanted to grow, but she didn’t know how she could make that happen. All her efforts to grow were complete failures. Thumbelina remained the same height as her father’s thumb.

In the song, Thumbelina is given some very good advice. She’s told to cheer up, to dance and to sing. Although Thumbelina might have been only very small, when her heart is full of love she’s nine feet tall.

I love the story of Thumbelina. As for the song, I’ve been singing it since I was a child. It’s a lovely story with an important message.

What the story and song are saying is that it doesn’t matter what advantages and disadvantages I might have in life, what is important is that I am a loving person.

There was a time in Primary School when I was feeling very lonely. I complained to my mother that nobody wanted to be friends with me. She then asked me an important question. She asked me if I wanted to be friends with the other children. Until then it had never occurred to me that liking and loving another person is a two-way process. If we look for something likeable in another person, we’ll usually find it. Very often, in looking for something we like in someone else, we will also let him or her look into our own hearts for something that they also like. The effort usually ends up in friendship.

There is a beautiful saying: “There is no such thing as a stranger, only a friend whom we have not yet met.” Jesus said, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” So, if today, I happen to be feeling like Thumbelina, a bit miserable because I’m not like others, let me celebrate my difference, my uniqueness. There is nobody in the world quite like me. Isn’t that wonderful? God made me just to be myself. He did not want me to be a carbon copy of anybody else in this world. He loves me as I am. In the same way, nobody else can love God in the same way that I can. Nobody else can give my love to my family and friends. When my heart is full of love, then there’s nobody else in the world quite like me. Isn’t that a wonderful thought? When I see other people, am I really seeing Jesus, the stranger, the friend, whom I can welcome into my life?

Lord, fill me heart with love today. Let me celebrate the fact that you made me uniquely yours. Lord, there’s nobody quite like me. That means it’s really important that I love you with all of my heart and soul. Teach me to love you more and more every day of my life. Amen

God bless,
Sr. Janet